Coronavirus 2020: How a Virus Could Cause a Cultural Revolution

Ethan Kirkpatrick, Editor

What can lead to a complete change of social normalities? What sort of event can catapult an entire country, even planet, into a completely new form of communication, acceptance, and creativity? Most people in the 21st century would think that such a big change is impossible in a society like our own, where people hate each other due to their skin color, or their beliefs, or their actions. Most people would believe that a so-called “modern renaissance” would require some sort of massive event to bring together people of all types of life, all types of heritage, all types of belief systems. The Covid-19 outbreak could be one of those events. 

During this time of quarantine, where everyone is at home, whether working or not, it can be extremely hard to look on the good side of things. No social interaction is against our nature; we, as humans, are social creatures. We thrive off connections, we thrive off being able to experience life with each other, and when we are deprived of what we need most, our bodies and minds go haywire. Our minds start to wander around the truth of it all: “It’s not so serious that I can’t go out with ONE friend, is it? I’m not killing anyone, after all.” As we start to learn to live our current lives in isolation, most of us will fall into a depression (many of us already have) that deprives the average human from motivation. “Well,” We think, “Now that I’m home and I don’t have that thirty minute commute, why don’t I sleep an extra thirty minutes to get my energy back up? It’s the least I deserve.” Those thirty minutes then become forty, an hour, two hours; and just like that, every home-working adult now has the sleep schedule of a teenager. This, inherently, is not a bad thing. More people are getting sleep, therefore more people are breaking away from the status quo “nine-to-five work style” that Americans have become accustomed to, and this is just the start.

Suddenly, we start to worry about how much time we’re spending away from our work. We get through our normal jobs in our homes twice as fast; our workday is slowed down to four hours. We start to feel like we aren’t making any progress anymore. We are essentially stuck in our own minds, wondering, “what in the world do I do now?”  The truth is, cleaning up around the house in our free time worked great for the first week. Now the American public is getting bored; and when we get bored, anything could happen.

So we’re bored. We’ve all freaked out over the crowds in our local grocery stores, complained about people not following the social distancing guidelines, seen every coronavirus meme, yelled at our parents, who we are stuck in the same house with, yelled at our children who we are stuck in the same house with, and our motivation is all but gone. What do we do? This is where we get into hypotheticals, because we are currently (at the time of writing this, April 21, 2020) in the state of boredom before something big happens. What happens, you ask? We get creative. We, as the public, start to show what we can really do when we have nothing better to do. Moms might start to get into watercolor painting, illustrating whatever they see outside the window; Dads might learn about skills that they’ve never had the time to learn in their past busy lives, and maybe even activities that they’ve never thought to learn before, such as  embroidery. Students might start to learn new art forms like chalk art in the middle of their streets, or they might learn how to make beautiful stained glass creations with their bare hands.

We, as a society might bring in a level of creativity that has yet to be seen in modern America. Poetry fueled from the frustration of staying inside will bubble up on online platforms, In-home short films will cover YouTube; Families will truly be at home with each other without any interruptions. Things will be created. We will create together. 

— Ethan Kirkpatrick

Social media will be an even bigger portion of the spread of creativity throughout the world. Photography accounts on Instagram and Facebook will skyrocket, as more people get outside and explore what their backyards have to offer. With the spread of 5G phone connections around the globe, it will be easier than ever to host online video chats, possibly giving people more chances to connect face-to-face with their favorite creators. People will start to realize how much power their actions have over the world, and they will use that to connect even more. We could realize as a society that our phones don’t take us away from each other, but bring us together in a way that we thought was never possible; The music industry could boom with even newer experimental music made throughout cities, across the globe, as musicians connect with each other through virtual jam sessions. The VR industry could boom as people seek a way to meet with their loved ones in a virtual space, talking face to face.

We could embrace what has been given to us fully, and use these technologies to their fullest potential to boost us into the next generation: a generation where everyone creates, loves, and experiences together. We could be catapulted into a new, modern renaissance. If that thought doesn’t excite you, then I don’t know what will.

— Ethan Kirkpatrick

So dare to take that extra step toward what you want to do with your time at home. Try a new skill out and don’t give up. Develop an app. If you don’t know how to, learn. Make some music, by yourself or with some help. Start a business. Make someone’s day better. Create something nobody has seen before. Take a walk. Take a bike ride. Go on a drive. Paint. Draw.  Make something new and make it great, because the future is ready, even in times of pandemic. Are you?